Below, a letter from Narrabri High School principal Dino Charalambous to students’ parents/carers, reflecting NSW Department of Education warnings, and published for general community interest.

Recently we have seen an increase in reports that students may be using e-cigarettes (otherwise known as ‘vaping’) across local schools and in the community.

We take this issue seriously due to the negative health effects vaping can have on young people, who are often unaware of the risks associated with the practice.

Vaping is the act of inhaling a vapour produced by an e-cigarette or electronic vaporiser.

The vapour can contain nicotine and other substances and may expose users to chemicals and toxins which are harmful to health.

The devices are small and can be easily hidden in a pocket or bag.

The most popular disposable vapes resemble large USB sticks or highlighter pens.

The vapers contain five per cent nicotine, which is the equivalent of a strong pack of cigarettes.

Nicotine is addictive and can harm brain development and impact learning, memory, and attention.

The Public Health (Tobacco) Act 2008 was amended in 2015 to define e-cigarettes and e-cigarette accessories to be separate from tobacco products.

The Act makes many of the provisions that apply to tobacco products also apply to e-cigarettes and e-cigarette accessories.

The Act makes it an offence:
· To sell e-cigarettes and e-cigarette accessories to persons aged under 18.
· For adults to buy e-cigarettes and e-cigarette accessories on behalf of persons aged under 18.

The NSW Department of Education has advised schools that students should not bring e-cigarettes or e-cigarette accessories onto school premises or use them during school-based activities.

Consistent with Department of Education and school policy – vaping, selling or being in the possession of e-cigarettes will result in disciplinary action that may lead to a student being suspended from school.

We are asking parents to be informed about this ongoing concern and to speak to their children about making positive decisions.

Additional information to support parents and students can be found here.

Dinos Charalambous, Principal, Narrabri High School


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